Assistant Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Assistant Federal Public Defender
Capital Habeas Unit

Posting Date: April 18, 2019
Closing Date: Until filled

The Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has an opening for at least one Assistant Federal Defender in its Capital Habeas Unit (CHU). The CHU represents death-sentenced prisoners in all stages of federal habeas corpus proceedings. The Assistant Federal Defender works collaboratively within teams and is responsible to conduct investigations, prepare petitions, motions and briefs for the district and appellate courts, maintain contact with clients, and appear on behalf of clients in court hearings and at other relevant proceedings. Our office is located in Philadelphia’s vibrant Center City district, in newly renovated office space in the historic Curtis Center in Philadelphia, close to the federal courthouse and across from Independence Mall, the Liberty Bell and Washington Square Park.

Candidates must have a minimum of five years of criminal practice experience in at least one of the following areas: capital case representation; appellate, post-conviction and/or federal habeas corpus litigation; or complex criminal or civil litigation. Capital post-conviction, federal habeas or appellate experience is preferred. Candidates must possess strong writing ability and a demonstrated commitment to poverty law or indigent criminal defense. Requirements include admission and good standing before the federal bar, in combination with admission and good standing to a state bar. Eligibility for admission to the Pennsylvania Bar or willingness to sit for and pass the next Pennsylvania bar examination is required.

Candidates must be able to engage in significant overnight travel throughout the Commonwealth and out of state. The position requires that the incumbent occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and spend extended periods driving or riding in a car. Fluency (oral and written) in Spanish is preferred, but not required.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Marie Tomei, CHU Administrative Assistant, via e-mail at, or by regular mail to FCDO, Curtis Center, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 545 West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106. Candidates will be interviewed on an ongoing basis, and the position will remain open, until filled.

Salary will be based upon experience consistent with federal guidelines and regulations.

The Federal Community Defender Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.